Internet users have been awash with the the "Ice Bucket Challenge" this summer. This challenge was issued by the ALS Association to raise money to help fund research for a cure to ALS as well as provide care for patients of the disease. Through this campaign, research continues and awareness has been raised, but we’re still a long way from the cure.
In many ways, 2014 is for ALS what the 1980s was for HIV. Perhaps it’s not surprising that long-term HIV survivors have stepped up to lend hope to their fellow humans, of which only 30,000 in the United States have ALS.
In the comments of one video, an HIV survivor tells people not to give up hope. She was diagnosed over twenty years ago. At the time, her prognosis was death in just a few short years. Yet, she lives over two decades later.
Part of this is due to funding given to AIDs research. That funding came both from the government as well as private donors, and it’s led to medication that allow people with HIV to live longer and more normal lives while we search for a cure. This doesn’t mean that patients give up on life insurance, but their diagnosis of HIV doesn’t have to be nearly as grim.
With the help of the Internet, we hope the same can be true for ALS patients.